Outdoor Corner: Some different fishing

Lyle Johnson

I did a little different kind of fishing last weekend after the two lightning, thunder, rain and especially wind events. Seems like to me it’s been a little crazy lately, how about you?

Two of my grandsons, Enoch and Eli with two of the many catfish we caught fishing on our pier using cut shad for bait.

After the first wind event, our brand new American flag blew out of its holder with two of the three sections of the pole. That was heartbreaking to say the least, not just because it was new but the fact that our flag was at the bottom of the Diversion somewhere, probably never to be seen again.

Two of my grandsons, Enoch and Eli with two of the many catfish we caught fishing on our pier using cut shad for bait.

This past weekend the wind was worse, so an early morning inspection of the dock was in order Saturday. One of my ice chests (white Igloo) was long gone and a plastic watering can used for Miracle Grow on my garden was, I thought, the extent of missing items.

I just shrugged off my losses and went back to my routine of throwing my cast net to catch some shad. On my first throw I felt what I thought was a limb or small log that had floated in with the flood. Fortunately, it didn’t get hung on it and the net didn’t tear like it usually does.

After making a few more throws and feeling that same limb, there were enough shad to bait my lines to catch some more catfish. I made a mental note to use my drag (grappling hook) to catch the pesky limb to remove it from the water and eliminate the potential problem of ruining the cast net.

On the next trip down to the pier I had some company. My wife, Deborah, and two of my grandkids, Enoch and Eli, came with me eager to catch some catfish. After landing a pair of catfish and putting them in the live well, I got to the task of removing that pesky limb.

I caught whatever it was on the first throw, but the hooks couldn’t hold on. On cast two the hooks held as I lifted the object up. As it got close to the top both grandkids shouted, “What is it Paw Paw”? I looked at them and replied, “It’s a red chair!”

I looked at my wife and it hit is both at the same time. “Oh no, both of Daddy’s red chairs blew in the canal too!” We didn’t even realize they were gone. They are special as Deborah’s dad passed away and those chairs came from his house.

That discovery quickened my pace so the chore of throwing the drag continued. Three or four throws later I felt the drag snag something so I slowly pulled it up in great anticipation but alas it wasn’t the second chair. Very surprisingly what was hooked on the drag was our flag with both poles still attached to it.

After another 10 minutes and what seemed like a hundred more throws, there was nothing to show for the effort. I hosed the flag down to get the silt and mud off and stretched it out to dry.

After cleaning 19 catfish and filleting six of them for our lunch, the fish fry was on. Those very fresh fillets were accompanied with French fries and homemade hush puppies and enjoyed by all!

After all that eating, I headed back to the pier to give it one more try and see if the other chair could be salvaged. I decided to try out a little deeper than before. After quite a few throws that resulted in me pulling in broken limbs and other such debris, it felt like I grazed something.

One of the many beneficiaries of a rabbit hunt made possible by the funds raised by Trinity Outdoor Disabled Adventures Bass Classic.

I threw two feet to the right and felt nothing.  On the next throw I split the difference between the last two throws.  I snagged something and slowly began to retrieve whatever that object might have been. Lo and behold, chair two was on the end of my drag.

After washing both chairs to let them dry, the flag was dried and ready to fly in its rightful place. Getting on a ladder, I was careful to put it in its rightful spot on the end of the pier roof for all to see. That that day of fishing was certainly intense and a little different to say the least!

This weekend on May 1, Jason Bland and his group will host the seventh annual Trinity Outdoor Disabled Adventures Bass Classic out of St James Boat Club on Airline Hwy. There are two divisions this year to participate in.

The first is the Adult Division in the bass category. Two angler teams will compete in a regular bass tournament format, weighing in five bass with a 10-inch size limit. Entry fee for the team is $115 including the big bass category.

Next is a high school team tournament using the high school format. Both anglers must be in school with a boat captain that is not allowed to fish. Entry fee for this event is $65 and includes the Big Bass category.

There will be a virtual captains’ meeting or pre-tournament briefing for this event today. A link will be sent to you to join. We are encouraging at least one representative from your team to attend tournament rules briefing, off-limits areas and any other special information will be posted online as well as at the check in table the morning of the tournament.

“We have volunteers from every part of the state of Louisiana that are ready at the drop of dime to lend a helping hand. Most of these folks has a child, a relative, a friend, or is disabled themselves. When people ask what ages we cater to I always answer, ‘There is no age limit. We can cater from 2 years old to 102 years old,’” said Jason Bland, founder.

The funds raised by TODA has afforded the opportunity to provide hunts and many other outdoor adventures for those with disabilities. It’s also allowed the purchase equipment, bibles, and shirts while being able bless other organizations as well. All the info for this tournament and registrations forms can be found at www.trinitydisabledadventures.com or call Jason Bland at 225 715-9581.

One of my best fishing days ever! So until next time, remember to keep the slack out and set the hook hard. Have fun in the outdoors, be safe and may God truly bless you!